Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Cairnmillar Institute

Course details

CRICOS course code: 092969C

Level of study: Masters Degrees


The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy integrates the Graduate Certificate and the Graduate Diploma, offering students an opportunity to study the art and science of therapy in an integrated, highly personal and experiential way. Students in the program are provided with a philosophically aligned and cohesive program which supports their ability to relate to themselves, their clients and their work with genuine caring presence and respectful engagement.

The aim of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is to provide high-level training in the skills required to work effectively with a wide variety of clients. The program provides a deep immersion into the theory and practice of an integrative, humanistic, process-oriented, relational psychotherapy that incorporates contributions from the psychodynamic, cognitive and existential approaches. There is a strong experiential focus in order to provide a hands-on, practice-oriented training and learning experience. The course adheres to solid evidence-informed principles of the common factors that characterise effective counselling and psychotherapeutic work, also providing a firm grounding in the professional, ethical, and legal issues associated with counselling and psychotherapy practice. Students in the program are trained in research methods and participate in a process-oriented research case study, in order to give them a unique opportunity to contribute to learning in the field.

Fully accredited by both the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is taught exclusively by respected therapist academics practicing in the field, who work as a team to support each student’s learning.

Course Duration and Structure

This two-year full time, or four-year part-time program, consists of 200 credit points. Students undertake a total of 16 units of study consisting of twelve coursework units, two placement units and two research relevant units.

Year One

  • CAP401 Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models
  • CAP402 Person-Centred Counselling
  • CAP412 Ethics and Professional Development
  • CAP417 Assessment Process in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • CAP404 Facilitating Therapeutic Change
  • CAP405 Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
  • CAP461 Counselling Placement
  • CAP414 Treatment Planning

Year Two

  • CAP511 Interpersonal Processes in Psychotherapy
  • CAP561 Counselling Placement
  • CAP507 Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy
  • CAP509 Child and Family Therapy
  • CAP551 Research Methods and Project
  • CAP510 Trauma, Loss and Grief Therapy
  • CAP505 Exploring Process Experiential Emotion Focused Therapy
  • CAP506 Existential Psychotherapy and the Group Process

Career Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings including community health and community services organisations, the health professions, rehabilitation providers, human resource management, child protection, family support counselling services, allied clinics and services, and private practice.

Click here for more details on this course.

Tuition Fees (AUD $) Start date Duration Campus
26,400 Per Year
Read more3,300 each unit; 52,800 for the entire course
20 Feb 2023 2 years
Full time
Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Melbourne Victoria 3123

Entry criteria

Admission into the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:

  • An Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in a related discipline (teaching, social work, social sciences, psychology, counselling or similar) with at least a 70% average marks.
  • Prospective students who have an Australian Bachelor degree in a non-relevant discipline can enrol in the Graduate Diploma course first to assess their suitability, and then progress into the Master course. They are encouraged to undertake The Cairnmillar Institute’s Counselling Skills Foundational and Intermediate short courses prior to the enrolment.

International students, who do not otherwise meet the AHPRA English standards, are required to have a minimum score of 7.0 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the IELTS test, and a minimum overall band score of 7.


Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Melbourne Victoria 3123
Back to the top of this page